After 1st leg win, Kwame Awuah and Forge set to grind out away result in CPL Finals

By: Ibrahim Ridwan Asante

After a man of the match worthy performance vs Cavalry in Hamilton, Forge’s Kwame Awuah is looking for more of the same in Calgary, as Forge looks to win the first-ever Canadian Premier League final. 

Forge FC winger Kwame Awuah has told his teammates it will take blood and sweat to win the inaugural Canadian Premier League at the expense of old foes Cavalry FC.

The Ghanaian-Canadian was key in his side’s 1-0 first leg win at home on Saturday, 26 October, but admits it will take extra efforts to defend that slender lead in the return leg at the ATCO Field in Calgary next week.

Both teams had to finish the match with ten men after key players Tristan Borges, Forge’s lone goal scorer on Saturday, and Cavalry centre back, Joel Waterman, both got sent off for straight red card offences.

The pair will miss the second leg unless there are successful appeals from their respective organizations, as they can apply to Canada Soccer’s disciplinary committee to attempt reinstatement.

Looking ahead to that title decider in Spruce Meadows, Awuah a former New York City FC player in the MLS, is brimming with confidence.

‘’Yes,’’ he replied to the question if his side can win the title on the road.  ‘This is the second time probably in ten days we have played against Cavalry. I think it was a great result that we’ve gotten.

‘The most important thing is just going in and focusing in what we need to do and you know they are going to come out flying there at home and their pitch is a different pitch not as big and probably snowing there.

‘So we just have to deal with the conditions and just work hard together and grind out the result.’’

Awuah feels the scoreline did not tell the whole story after Forge FC struck the cross-bar thrice with efforts from Kyle Bekker, Daniel Krutzen and David Edgar.  

‘’That’s how football works. We had a man advantage and we ended up going a man down and we ended up hitting the crossbar a couple of times,’’ he added.

‘’We created chances and sometimes it’s unfortunate that the ball doesn’t go into the net but I think the most important thing is that we are creating these chances and we continue to create them and hopefully we get some good luck and put the ball at the back of the net.’’ 

After a top performance vs Cavalry, one where Awuah contributed on both ends of the pitch, he will be leaned upon to carry Forge to success. With a game-high 4 chances created offensively, along with 56 completed passes at a 76% clip on 81 touches, he was everywhere for Forge on the attack, even playing a role in Borges goal after combining with Chris Nanco on the wing. 

Defensively, he added 2 tackles, and won 6 of his duels, capping a solid shift for him out at left-back. As Forge kept a clean sheet, he did a good job to ensure Cavalry’s threat down the right-side, Nico Pasquotti, was limited to a quiet afternoon. 

If Forge are to prevail in a tough environment, two-way play like that which was shown by Awuah will go a long way to their success, as they look to be the first-ever team to lift the ‘North Star Shield’.

This piece was written by Ibrahim Ridwan Asante, who you can check out on twitter @ridwanasante.